Ceylon Date Palm
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Ceylon Date Palm
E Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Ceylon Date Palm • Kannada: ಕಿಱೀಚಲ್ Kireechal, ಕಿಱೀಚಲು, ಕಿರೀಚಲು Kireechalu, ಕಿಱಿಯೀಚಲು, ಕಿರಿಯೀಚಲು Kiriyeechalu, ಹುಲ್ಲೀಚಲ Hulleechala • Malayalam: Eentha, Chitteenthal • Sanskrit: Parusakah • Tamil: Cittintu, இசம Icham
Botanical name: Phoenix pusilla    Family: Arecaceae (Palm family)
Synonyms: Phoenix zeylanica, Phoenix farinifera, Zelonops pusilla

Ceylon Date Palm is a solitary or clustering palm, stem up to 6 m high and 30 cm in diameter. Leaves are up to 3 m long; pseudoleaf-stalk up to 70 cm long x 1.5-3 cm wide at base, rounded abaxially; leaf bases persistent, vertically orientated on trunk, about 8 cm wide at base; acanthophylls individually arranged in one or more planes of orientation, about 7-18 on each side of axis, yellow-green, very sharp, to 11 cm long; leaflets are about 30-100 on each side of axis, elongate-spoon-shaped in shape with very sharp, needle-like tips, 10-45 x 0.5-3 cm in length . Male inflorescence is erect; prophyll leathery, 12-30 x 4-8 cm; flower-cluster-stalk 5-25 cm long. Male flowers are ovoid, yellow-white; calyx 1-1.5 mm high; petals 4-5 x 2-3 mm ovate, with rounded apices. Female inflorescence is erect, arching at fruit maturity; prophyll leathery, splitting twice, 17-41 x 2.5-5.5 cm; flower-cluster-stalk to about 25-75 cm; rachillae 20-120 in number, orange-green, 4-30 cm long. Female flowers are mostly in the distal half of rachilla; calyx up to 1.2 mm high; petals 2 x 3-4 mm. Fruit is ovoid, 11-15 x 5-8 mm, ripening from green to red to purple-black, moderately fleshy, sweet. Ceylon Date Palm is found in South India and Sri Lanka.
Medicinal uses: Ceylon Date Palm is used in treatment of bladder stones, Piles, Fevers, Dysentery , Rectal prolapses, Pies, Cough, Urinary tract infections.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Tamil Nadu.

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